Harben & Ryan's San Francisco Rental

Harben & Ryan's San Francisco Rental

Celeste Noche
Apr 9, 2016
(Image credit: Celeste Noche)

Name: Harben Porter and Ryan Moses and Bowie the cat
Location: San Francisco, California
Size: 550 square feet
Years lived in: 3 years; Rented

Harben and Ryan found their apartment on Craigslist and decided to take a chance on a post that did not include any images. Luckily for them, the place looked perfectly charming and quirky on sight. They often joke with friends that they feel as though they've found a hidden gem with this apartment—the neighborhood is relatively quiet yet still close to all the bars and restaurants they could ever want, plus there is ample street parking. What more could you ask for?

(Image credit: Celeste Noche)

The space itself immediately presented some challenges. There is limited light on the ground floor, and the layout includes a few slightly curved walls and some awkward ledges in order to accommodate the foundation for the building. Both the bedroom and the living room have structural oddities that make it impossible to push furniture flush against the walls. Still, Harben and Ryan were more than excited to take on the challenge and create a home together.

(Image credit: Celeste Noche)

Having lived here for three years, they've had the opportunity to slowly edit their furniture and decor down, making room for one-of-a-kind and timeless pieces. This is the apartment that has seen the most growth in their personal style, an upgrade in quality—they've gone from using college-grade pots and pans to investing in solid cookware—and a shift in priorities that has transformed just about every square foot in their apartment for the better.

(Image credit: Celeste Noche)

Harben works at a nonprofit for youth and families and also writes a blog about capsule wardrobes and ethical fashion. Ryan runs a men’s activewear brand called Myles Apparel and enjoys all things outdoors. The two just celebrated their one-year wedding anniversary and would like to note that in addition to personal growth, wedding gifts did a lot to take their apartment design to the next level.

(Image credit: Celeste Noche)

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Eclectic, Organic, Thrifted, Sentimental

Inspiration: Spaces that balance family heirlooms and thrifted treasures while looking cohesive

Favorite Element: The built-in bookshelf in the living room

Biggest Challenge: Limited natural light, low ceilings, and the strange bedroom ledge

What Friends Say: Friends often tell us that it feels like we have really turned this space into a home. They say it feels cozy, but very welcoming.

Biggest Embarrassment: The proximity of the bathroom to the “dining room” area

Proudest DIY: Harben is pretty proud of the two sconces hanging on either side of the bed. Ryan is particularly proud of the kitchen shelves.

Biggest Indulgence: The Thonet chairs

Best Advice: When in doubt, wait it out. No need to spend money on something that isn’t quite right. We’re so glad we waited to stumble upon some great pieces (our coffee table for example), rather than buy whatever could have worked from IKEA.

Dream Sources: We’d love to someday be able to work with some of San Francisco’s talented craftsmen and women to design a handful of custom pieces. Also West Elm.


(Image credit: Celeste Noche)


  • Plant stand: Craigslist
  • TV stand: Alameda Flea Market
  • Record player: gift from Ryan’s mom
  • Geode bookends: Alameda Flea Market
  • Books: guestbook, engagement photo album, poetry gifted by Harben’s sister
  • Magazines: Kinfolk
  • Rug: thrift store
  • Coffee table: scored at Goodwill for $2 (Harben’s proudest thrift)
  • Tray: Harben’s grandmother’s
  • Marble candle: Target
  • Coral: Harben’s grandmother’s
  • Crystal: Alameda Flea Market
  • Match jar: Rare Device
  • Wine glasses: Riedel
  • Champagne saucers: family heirloom
  • California container: gift from friends
  • Fighting cocks: family heirloom
  • Side chair: gift from Harben’s family
  • Side table: Craigslist
  • Lamp: estate sale
  • Candle: PF Candle Co.
  • Blankets: Target
  • Pillows: Target, IKEA
  • Curtains: IKEA
  • Tapestry: Past Present in San Francisco
  • Art: Tanner Porter, Phil Kropoth, family friends
(Image credit: Celeste Noche)


  • Mirror: vintage via thrift store
  • World War I French Victory medallion: given to Harben by her parents when she earned her master’s degree
  • Table: IKEA
  • Chairs: vintage Thonet
  • Rug: vintage via Harben’s family—it's also the rug Harben and Ryan stood on to get married.
  • Nautilus painting: on loan from Harben’s parents
  • Other artwork: Tanner Porter, moving sales, thrift stores
(Image credit: Celeste Noche)


  • Cart: IKEA
  • Kettle: Le Creuset
  • Shelving: IKEA brackets, DIY stained shelves
  • Plaster skull: Etsy
  • Utensil holder: Target
  • Pots and pans: All-Clad, Lodge Cast Iron
  • Globes: Alameda Flea Market, thrift stores
  • Window treatment: eBay
  • Rug: thrift store
  • Palm Springs print: Chris Turnham
  • Kitchen towels: Anthropologie
  • Fruit bowl: Goodwill
  • Bowls and platters: Alameda Flea Market, thrift stores, wedding gifts
  • San Francisco print: local artist
(Image credit: Celeste Noche)


  • Bed frame: gift from family friend
  • Bedding: West Elm
  • Beside tables: Craigslist, IKEA
  • Bedside sconces: DIY
  • Mexican blanket: eBay
  • Candle: PF Candle Co.
  • Triangle tray: NYC street vendor
  • Conch shell: Harben’s grandmother’s
  • Hats: Cuyana, Madewell, Target
  • Metal shelving: IKEA
  • Wooden boxes: collected by Harben’s mom
  • Triangle shelf: IKEA
  • Wooden platters: wedding gift
  • Globes: Alameda Flea Market
  • Air plant beaker: Makers Market
  • Hanging planter: Urban Outfitters
  • Scale: vintage
  • Iron moon phase piece: Ryan’s cousin
  • Art: Tanner Porter, Yosemite National Park, Harben’s family
(Image credit: Celeste Noche)


  • Globes: Alameda Flea Market, thrift stores
  • Triangle shelves: Typo
  • Desk: IKEA
  • Chair: vintage Thonet
  • Plant stand: Target
  • Small vases: thrift stores
  • Plant holders: thrift stores
(Image credit: Celeste Noche)


  • Art: Tanner Porter
  • Shelf: IKEA
  • Mason jars: thrift stores
  • Candle: Target
  • Sea glass for air plant: found on the beach
  • Matchboxes: favors from friends’ wedding
  • Marble soap dish: Target
  • Candlestick: Harben’s grandmother’s
  • Shower curtain: Target

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Thanks, Harben & Ryan!

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